Brian Ferneyhough: Shadowtime

Brian Ferneyhough: Shadowtime

NMC Recordings
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Described as a 'thought opera', Brian Ferneyhough's Shadowtime sets Charles Bernstein's inventive and complex libretto based on the work, life and imagined death of philosopher and cultural critic Walter Benjamin: it includes a movement for a speaking pianist - Opus contra naturam, the opera's fourth scene – a guitar concerto (Scene II) and ends in an ethereal haze of voices and electronics, Stelae for Failed Time.

Nicolas Hodges piano/ reciter
Mats Scheidegger guitar
Jurjen Hempel conductor
Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart
Nieuw Ensemble



'Listening on disc reveals unsuspected beauty in the unparalleled stylistic complexity.'  The Sunday Times

'This performance is certainly a success — as is NMC’s presentation' Gramophone

'This inventive score, vividly performed under Jurjen Hempel, amply rewards exploration' Observer

'This is the best possible recording of Shadowtime that one could wish for and with a clarity of detail within all aspects of the performance that aids understanding more of the libretto than anticipated: not just the fantastic rhythmic narration of that extraordinary pianist Nicolas Hodges, but the complex vocal settings.' Classical Source

'a challenging and exuberant work by one of the world's most adventurous and interesting composers.' New Classics


This release has been made possible by funding from Stanford University and the Holst Foundation


Shadowtime was recorded in collaboration with BBC Radio 3 and English National Opera at the London Coliseum production in July 2005.

Catalogue number: NMC D123
Release Date: 1 April 2006